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Benelux Tour

Danny van Poppel again close to success

One day after the successful breakaway of Taco van der Hoorn, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert stood out in the sprint in the Benelux Tour (2.WT, 30/08-5/09). The entirely flat stage of 166 kilometer connected Aalter with Ardooie, in West-Flanders.

In contrary to the day before, the peloton caught the breakaway already with 50 kilometer to go, before entering the five local laps around Ardooie. Several breakaway attempts colored the race and also the Golden Kilometer animated the final, but the stage ended in an expected bunch sprint. Danny Van Poppel knows the finish in the Stationsstraat as he finished 2nd in 2016. He was guided to the final kilometer by his sprint train and launched the sprint from far. Only Tim Merlier and Mads Pedersen passed him in the final 50 meter.

After three chances for sprinters and a time trial, hills are waiting for punchers and climbers in the final three days. Fifteen hills are spread on the parcours of 192 kilometer between Riemst and Bilzen.

I know this finish in Ardooie well and I knew that I had to launch early to avoid to be blocked. I used the right tactics and I'm satisfied about my sprint, but two guys were faster. The final was pretty hectic, so I asked my teammates to bring me to the front early. I wanted to be in the first positions in the last corner to the right, in order to be able to take a moment of rest before the sprint. My teammates executed the plan well and I'm happy to see how motivated they are each race to support me. Of course, Taco's win was an extra boost for everyone!


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